Artifact subjected to careful analysis. It soon became clear that the skin - the whole, without seams and glue. That is, it belonged to an unknown animal, and the learned world decided that this beast had died out long ago.
But not everything was so simple. After all, the skin was quite new! She came to Paris thanks to the French missionary A. David, who at the same time was observing nature. In one of the deaf villages of Sichuan province in 1869, the missionary discovered an amazing skin. Local residents reported that it belonged to Bei-shung, that is, to the “big bear”, which lives high in the mountains, among dense bamboo thickets.
David sent the skin to Europe and decided to try to find the beast in its natural environment. In the same year, the curious Frenchman was fortunate enough to see the Bey-shung killed the day before and to acquire the whole carcass. She was also sent to France.
Thus, the last doubts about the reality of the unknown beast were scattered. At first it was called black and white or bamboo bear. However, in 1870, zoologists carefully studied the materials obtained from China and decided that the animal found was not a bear, but belongs to the raccoon family, therefore they gave it the name of the big panda. (The minor panda, which was then also referred to as the raccoon family, lives in East Asia.) Nowadays, according to genetic tests, it is proved that the big panda is still a member of the bear family.
As is often the case, the discovery interested not only researchers, but also various dark people who adore the ringing of coins. In Western China, rushing to get rich in a new animal. But only in 1916, with the help of local hunters, they managed to catch a young panda. However, she soon died in captivity. In the same year, in the province of Sichuan, they managed to acquire six skins of a rare beast.
Yet for many years, attempts to catch a new animal ended in failure. Only in 1936, the American R. Harkness acquired a young panda and brought her to San Francisco. This animal was given the nickname Su-Lin, which meant "a small piece of a huge jewel."
Then, in 1938, two more adult animals were brought to the United States. Four adult individuals and one young panda were soon transported to London. Unfortunately, six more bamboo bears did not reach the capital of England, but died on the way.
In 1957, a large panda named Pin-Pin appeared in the Moscow Zoo. Here she lived for 4 years, and the last two - next to another large panda, nicknamed An-Anh.
In 1977, all the zoos of the world contained a total of 30 large pandas. For a long time it was not clear whether they were able to reproduce in captivity, until in 1963 in the Beijing Zoo the female named Li-Li gave birth to a baby weighing 142 grams. In 1964, the same female showed another bear cub. Thus it was possible to establish that the gestation period of pandas is 134-140 days.
In its natural habitat, the panda moves well on steep slopes, easily climbing tall trees. In the winter, she digs up at the foot of the large trunks of the pit and shelters there from bad weather, but does not fall into hibernation. He arranges his dens on the shady side of the mountain slopes, and these dens can be useful for a bamboo bear for a long time.
Remarkable is the ability of the described animal not only to run fast, but also to roll on steep slopes "head over heels". In this case, the panda presses the front paws to the eyes, protecting them, and presses the hind paws to the stomach. So she sometimes escapes from her enemies - the Red Wolves or Leopard.
For the treatment of small objects in bamboo bears formed the so-called sixth finger. It is nothing but an elongated wrist bone. The sixth finger allows the panda to pick up objects that are very inconvenient for her, such as a match or straw, for example.
The measures recently taken to protect such a rare animal have borne fruit, which suggests a slight increase in the population in southern and northern China, as well as in northeastern Tibet.